Gephart lone qualifier for Demonettes, with Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe Prep and Pecos having a full squad in 4A, with the same for ATC in 3A
By Arnie Leshin | November 3, 2017
Different time, different feeling, and a little bit lonesome, Santa Fe High senior Daisy Gephart will be lining up again Saturday morning when the state cross country championships are run over the 5-kilometer course at Rio Rancho High School.
Last year, she had company as the Demonettes qualified for state out of District 2-6A and finished eighth. But this time, they had to settle for fourth, one spot from qualifying, at districts. Thus, only Gephart qualified by running 14th at districts in 21:18.
Another change. Last year, the girls followed the boys as they alternate each time. Now, it’s 6A toeing the line first, so Gephart will be hearing the starter’s gun at 9:30. No doubt, she will miss the familiar sight of her teammates, but she’s had an impressive season and has her sights set on improving on 42nd place that she ran in 21:25.25.
Of course you can’t compare cross country times because no course is alike, but she has been consistently in the 21-minute range. She clocked 21:03.06 in taking fifth at the Capital City Invitational over the MRC rugby complex course. In winding up third at the Adron Gardner raced in Belen, she was timed in 21:39.
Then there was the Los Alamos Invitational over the golf course where she came in 24th in 21:37.32. At the Rio Rancho Jamboree raced over the same course as states, she finished 43rd against a tough field in 21:34.20, and over the weary course at the John Grimsley Memorial at Cochiti Pueblo, she settled for a 23:09 time and placed 12th.
She’s earned her way to state again, and now she’s hoping for a worthy finale.
Next comes A-2A, and then 3A toes the line at 10:35, with Academy of Technology and The Classic freshman combo of Maggie Rittmeyer and Kate Ferguson looking to challenge two-time defending champion Carly Gonzales of Penasco and be up with the front runners.
They usually travel together and it’s worked well. Only one Phoenix is a senior, that being Lilla Noger-Onstott, and then there’s 8th-grader Josette Gurule for head coach Tim Host’s youngsters.
Then there’s Pecos in 3A. The Panthers have improved over the last two seasons under head coach Patrick Ortiz. It has a balanced lineup with only one senior in Mone Mondragon. Freshman Vanessa and Junior Faith Flores figure to pave the way along with Mondragon.
In 4A that goes off at 11:05, if Santa Fe Prep’s soccer team gain Saturday’s late-afternoon soccer finals, they will lose harriers Hayden Colfax, a sophomore, and freshman Anna Swanson.
Despite this, they have enough depth to overcome this. Their best runner has been 8th-grader Sophie Addison, and she’s followed by freshman Chelsea Griscom, junior Brooke Little, sophomore Hallie Weichel, sophomore Abbie Francis, and senior Francesca Maestas.
For Santa Fe Indian School under head coach Joe Calabaza, it will have a full squad that is led by sophomore Iris Emery and senior Elizabeth Lucero.
But St. Michael’s took fourth at district and did not qualify a full team for state, a first for Lenny Gurule since he took over as head coach in 2003.
And so the Lady Horsemen will rely on the qualifying trio of juniors Janai Clayton and Abbie Leugers, and sophomore London Luttrell. Deserving junior Violet Eklund did not qualify for state this time, so will probably be there rooting for her teammates.
Luttrell, whose older brothers Denver and Austin, ran for St. Michael’s, had a bad trip at state last year, felt ill and did not finish. This time she’s eager to get another chance to complete the course. There’s not a senior on this year’s team and Gurule is hopeful of all of them returning. His only problem has been numbers, with only five on the roster.
In 5A, which begins at 11:35, Capital High has only qualifier in senior Audrey Gonzales, which has been the standard in recent years for head coach Rita Vigil. Mayra Flores and Brandi Romero have been the others.